Monday, January 12, 2015

Review: 2 AM at The Cat's Pajama's by Marie-Helene Bertino

Publisher: Crown
Pages: 272
Received: Received a copy from the publisher through Edelweiss

Release Date: March 11, 2014
Buy From / Buy From

Goodreads Synopsis:

A sparkling, enchanting and staggeringly original debut novel about one day in the lives of three unforgettable characters.

Madeleine Altimari is a smart-mouthed, precocious nine-year-old and an aspiring jazz singer. As she mourns the recent death of her mother, she doesn’t realize that on Christmas Eve Eve she is about to have the most extraordinary day—and night—of her life. After bravely facing down mean-spirited classmates and rejection at school, Madeleine doggedly searches for Philadelphia's legendary jazz club The Cat's Pajamas, where she’s determined to make her on-stage debut. On the same day, her fifth grade teacher Sarina Greene, who’s just moved back to Philly after a divorce, is nervously looking forward to a dinner party that will reunite her with an old high school crush, afraid to hope that sparks might fly again. And across town at The Cat's Pajamas, club owner Lorca discovers that his beloved haunt may have to close forever, unless someone can find a way to quickly raise the $30,000 that would save it.

As these three lost souls search for love, music and hope on the snow-covered streets of Philadelphia, together they will discover life’s endless possibilities over the course of one magical night. A vivacious, charming and moving debut, 2 AM AT THE CAT'S PAJAMAS will capture your heart and have you laughing out loud.

My Review:

This book had me intrigued with the idea of bringing together such an eclectic cast of characters, and I can definitely tell you that the people that star in this book are intriguing, but make the story a bit confusing. The story jumps around between all these characters and it takes place over one night, so there is a lot happening that I found myself lost during a few points.

The characters that Marie-Helene writes in this story are not all the most likeable characters, they all have their own issues to deal with, but that is what makes this story so interesting. I always enjoy a story where it is hard to like the characters because it gives a reader more hope to see where their lives will go. I will say that Madeline was my favourite character to follow, she has a very tough exterior, and you can see that she is dealing with some tough issues for a child. Each character's actions affects those of another one of the characters, which is what makes this story work so well as it switches between stories. Sarina's was one plotline that I wish I had more of her story, she is a quiet person who is being reunited with an old crush, and where the night takes them had my heart, but I felt like there wasn't enough of them.

I can say that even though I had issues with how quickly the story would change perspectives, the way Bertino wrote this story has characters that will capture your heart. I do wish that this could have been a bit longer because I think Bertino could have gotten more out of the story than she did in the less than 300 pages that she used here. I just felt that the storylines were not as fully fleshed out as they could have been, yet at the same time it was supposed to be over the course of one night, so it is difficult to really get into the story in such a short amount of time. This was definitely an interesting book and I can say that despite my few difficulties I enjoyed how Bertino was able to intertwine so many lives at once.

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